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tv   CNN Tonight With Don Lemon  CNN  June 14, 2019 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT

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this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. sources at the white house acknowledging that trump messed up in his interview to abc news. those clips have been playing over and over for the past 48 hours with one trump advisor saying last few days have been tough. president tried walking back his comments today but he never out right acknowledged that it's illegal as the federal election commission flat out says it is. but trump's aids, excuse me, say they don't feel like the fallout will be significant. that the reporters likely don't care. as staffers appear to be ready
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to throw sarah sanders under the bus as she's on her way out the door. she's fwl she's blamed for giving abc access. a lot to discuss tonight. he was with the last three republican administrations. good evening to all of you. very interesting news week. so let's discuss. the big picture. your latest piece helps us to do that. forget no collusion, trump is now pro-collusion. >> you could say that was the message offed averse comments. that was before his effort this morning on fox and friends to walk back his comments. i found it particularly comical
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the idea that white house sources are saying the president bungalled his answerers because he clearly said what he thinks. a classic washington gap of saying what you think and getting in trouble for it, it seems to me. the president was off the cuff and direct and sounded very much like donald trump when he said sure, i'd listen to them and i wouldn't bother to call the fbi. he did lie about the fact when he said i've never called the fub in my life t turns out he was an informant for the fbi earlier in his career. so yes, it's all very confusing. it's friday night. it was just monday that president had his secret deal with mexico. doesn't that seemt luke an eternity? >> ysz, it does. and at the top of the last hour we played what he said on abc
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news and jux posed to what he said on fox and friends in andentd interviews and none of it makes sense. it's like a saturday night live skit. you say trump is a political octopus squirting so much diversary black ink that it's the new normal. a political octopus? >> wasn't sure if i should say squid or octopus but i wanted to say octpusz because i thought that seemed more like it. on any given moments there's at least eight different trump arms throwing a story at us. and so i don't even know what story half the time because it's one big blob. >> okay. so susan and i are going to stop pretending we're the only people. cnn sources that white house aids are frustrated over her handling over the abc interview. why is she being thrown under the bus when the president
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should be able to say no, i would not accepts foreign dirt. why would they throw her under bus when it was wheher who answd the questions? >> in trump world it's always somebody else's fault. he was revealing what's in his mind and in his heart. it was striking. when i heard the interview, i thought this is a narcissist. this is a person who has no objective moral standards. he's a person who believes whatever helps him is by definition right and whatever hurts him is by definition wrong. and that's a kind of moral an arcy and a person that doesn't have any moral guardrails. when you see it, it's hard to follow and you're stunned by it. but there is something consistent about him. and it is that sense that
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everything revolves around him and there's no outside objective sources of morality or ethics. and that's just a very, very dangerous thing. in the human life it's problematic enough. in a president, it's corrupting to a country and can be outright dangerous. >> isn't it also clear the president meant what he said the first time because he is now thanking the majority leader mitch mcconnell who is blocking legislation on election security. don't fall for the democrats' hoax. it's clear he meant what he said the first time. >> i had no doubt. andy with know he meant what he said because the whole team had been hinting this was where the stratdagy was going to go for a couple of months. we're a long way from there was no interactions with the russians to there was no help with adoptions to now we welcome
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the help in 2020. there's never any consequences for what he dez. if they can try to fix it and put the genie back in the bottle. two groups that have longer memories. one is the agents and the lawyers and the fbi agents and cia asts who see that and know exactly where they stand, which is he will throw them under bus. he does not want to protect the united states. the second is our allies and enemies who, whatever the white house tries to spin this will know what the president meant and will react accordingly. our allies, knowing this is a president with of course no moral code and our enemies trueing to if you goier out ways to assist the president in his fle flirtation to get bad information about whoever is the
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democratic nominee. >> you knowy with were just talking, julia. in the other show about -- he said well, there's no collusion. if you're to interpret any rational person interpret the words he's said in the interviews, it seems like he's willing to collude. this isclusion. collusion. >> and i want to be clear here. the president -- he's wrong to say there was no collusion. volume one of the mueller report is rampant with evidence of collusion between this family and the campaign and the russians. >> wait, hold on. say that again. >> it is rampant with evidence of collusion. what mueller did not come to was a criminal finding of conspiracy. but the collusion, the interactions between the trump campaign, trump family and the russians is clear. all you need to do is read
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volume one. i've always said to me that is the most important piece. it is mind boggling. also we don't know if collusion is happening now. the reelect campaign is in place. mostly the same people and i do wonder if donald trump was trueing to not throw what's going on now. i don't can know what other can countries are doing, what russians are doing. the white house wants to collude. he meant what he said. >> and norway's always on his mind. the president's saying he'd accept foreign dirt. he's standing by despite a government watch dog agency in which he appointed the head of the agency. do all these examples show there
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was an ethical vacuum? >> there's a striking comment when he was asked about the allegations of kellyanne conway. first he said i don't know anything about it but it sounds like they're trying to infringe on her free speech. but then he said i don't like that act. it's not something i'm in favor of. you don't get to pick and choose which laws you're going to obey if you're the president of the united states. and i think for me that comment really crystalized an overall attitude. >> i don't like that. i'm going to pick and choose. and i think that is actually their attitude towards the law, that it's something negotiable, something that depends on the personal whims. >> like saying the fbi director is wrong. >> and even that is arguably in the realm of opinion.
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it incapsulates the idea off why we have a system that sta rule of law and not of men. and the president essentially deep down is ant thetical to that. so the idea the white house is not only going to flout it but read the statement that white house counsel put out. it's a bipartisan attack on something the president himself appointed to the position and saying that it's somehow this republican-trump-appointed official is carrying water for democrats for the media. so it's a very telling incident. >> peter, you want to say somethingen othis and oncia say your piece can we talk about your book? >> sure. i just wanted to say my sense of it is donald trump is brought in his ethical or unethical universe to the presidency.
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this is how he's lived his entire life. and a lot of people supporters, republicans thought well, when he becomes president, hays rr going to grow in office and he'll be a changed man. he's changed the presidency. the presidency hasn't changed him. and when we have these discussions about ethics, i'm telling you he doesn't understand it. it is a foreign language to him. it's like trying toing describe culler to a person color blind. i think these rr genuinely baffled andf ocourse we would take dirt from a foreign country. everybody would. and then it takes a day or two for people to say that's actually not how the world works, how ethics work and they're left to scramble to clean it up. >> so let's talk about your book. the death of politics. how to heal our fraid republic. you talked about the ethics or lack of. but you're offering some hope it
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seems like. >> i am. i feel like we're at a critical juncture and a lot of what we care about in politics is dying. at the same time i argue that politics is really importabout. because while it's about a lot of things, it's ultimately about justice and t justice matters. i just like there's human flourishing when you get it right and one of the biggest things i try and argue against is fatalism and despair and a sense that we can't do it. this country has a remarkable capacity for self renewal and we have it 1 our power to write wonderful new chapters in the american story. it's not fated to happen. but this is a self-governing country. last thing i'll say on this is a lot of times in the life of an individual or nation, there's
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certain qualities or virtus that you take for granted. and you forgot why they were important to you. and when they're stripped away from you, you remember why you cherish them to begin with and then you're willing to fight for them and make the case for them and stand up for them. and i have a feeling the trump era is -- think of the as a virus that may create its own antibodies. and i have a feeling bike the time we get to 2020, people are going to be arguing for certain things thaw took for granted they'll now understand is really isen central to being a good an decent country. >> dwroob have to say -- and i'm sure you know him and you heard what historian john meacham said about your back. he said conservatives need your book. i think all of america does as well. thank you for coming on. have a great weekend. it's called "the death off politics" by the way.
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are clearly no substitute for real ones. feel the clarity. and live claritin clear. as the 2020 field continues to take shape a top tear of candidates is emerging. here are the top five candidates. in a poll of nevada caucus goers released this week by monmouth university. commanding lead with joe biden. fal followed by elizabeth warren. and bernie sanders at 13. kamala harris at six. and bicyclpete boykin. elizabeth warren -- pete, you first. i mean bumping bernie sanders to third place in nevada.
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that's huge. what do you think of the state of the race? >> i think the state of the race is influx right now. warren has a lot of great ideas. she's got new policy positions practically every other day she's coming out with and i think she's presenting a lot energy in the party. bernie sanders, they know him, they know joe biden. they're figures from the past. but elizabeth sanders -- >> warren. >> elizabeth warren. so many people have been introduced. >> it's friday. it's been a long week. >> i haven't had a drij yet. drink yet. >> operative word. >> they haven't been introduced to her in the same way they did bernie sanders. she has a lot of the advantage without some of the baggage he brungs. >> correct me if i'm wrong, i'm
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thinking dash i just heard from peter wayner who said people are going to want something different by the time 2020 rolls around. i think they want to hear about policy. we know big personality, that all plays. but i think maybe the american voter this time is yearning for something they're not getting right now. i don't know. what do you think, charley? >> i do think they want something different. probably somebody more measured, more kacareful in how they condt themselves. i'm not so sure policy will drive the day. joe biden isn't running a campaign on policy. pete buttigieg isn't focussed on policy. elizabeth warren is. i'm not sure it's going to drievl the election. it's more style and tone and an
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antitrump, someone who's going to drive a better message. >> interesting. the crux of my question was elizabeth warren but i'm picking up what you're putting down. so what do you attribute her rise in the polls to? >> well, i think she's rising in the polls because she is progressive and a lot of democrats want a newer face a fresher face and somebody who is full energy and zeal. true, she has a lot of policies she's throwing out there but she's pretty aggressive and i think maybe it's the style they're warming up to. candidly i think she's a gift to donald trump on many levels and going to open una center of the country to a third party candidacy if she gets the nomination, because i think people want an alternative but won't be able to do that, elizabeth warren.
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>> came without a number of detailed policy plans. it seems like every other day. and i don't mean that disparagingly. i do think people like it. wlirts going to carry the day like charley says remains to be seen. incredibly specific in her messaging. watch this. >> people walk up to me and say i got $46,000 in student loan debt, working a second and third job to make the payments oen my student loan debt or families who say one or all 06 our paychecks is going to child care. we're sinking. we can't build a future. and to have real plans, to be able to change that, plans supported, not just by democrats, but also by republicans, that's how we can make the kind of change that would make this country work. >> i've been asking the same
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question in 14 different ways if that's behind the attraction. number one -- maybe it is and number two, are we putting too much stock in a couple polls or one poll? and number three, it's a long way off. you're going to have eluz blgt warren here and here and kamala haurs here and here. so go on. >> you're making exactly the point i have been making for some time now. year in june of 2019. the elicection is not until november of 2020. so the american people haven't yet gotten a chance to see the candidates even stand on the stage side by side which we'll see in a couple of weeks. >> the important thing is where they place in these polls if they even get to be on the stages which is -- >> right. but only four candidates didn't make it in the debate. 20 of will be on the stage for the first of the debates.
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what people want choices and they don't know exactly what choice they're going to make. but it's way too early to look at one poll. nevada, new hampshire, iowa and determine if this candidate is in or out. people were sawing she's out of the ros because of all the controversy about her native american questioning. here she is rebounding showing that's hasn't been a fatal liability for her campaign. i think she has a strong possibility to continue to do well. >> right. the trump campaign is responding to the week's internal polling numbers. caused concern. saying numbers represent the worse-case scenario. in a more likely turnout model patterned after 2016 and when a democrat is defined, the race is not only compet tvl, the president is -- and they don't
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realize how deceptive it can be to reveal only tiny portions of of a massive poll. >> clearly the president's polling numbers are not very good. that being said i have less in the it -- when people had land lines i thought we had more accurate polls. president's got a problem here. he denied the polls existed. he doesn't have much margin for error, the president. he won pennsylvania by 44,000 votes, michigan and wisconsin by similarly slim margins and he is talken his campaign to the point where all he does is double down, triple down on his base. he's alienating moderate and swing and independent voters and he doesn't have a lot of margin for error. i think he's in real trouble.
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i think his favorability ratings -- now can he win? it's possible but not probable based on the numbers i'm looking at. >> thank you. you said it was better when people had land lines. if you do have a home phone -- >> polling. >> i know. but if you have a home phone and it rings, who's calling? is that the alarm company? those twhur days, right? thank you, gentleman. i appreciate it. what can democrats do now?
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the justice department siding with the treasury secretary's refusal to hand over the president's taxes to the house, ways and means committee. decision that spruzed absolutely no one. michael is the author of "the truth about trump." good evening to you. renauldo, i'm going to start with you. the d o, j stating the democrats wanting to make the documents public is not a legitimate purpose. would you agree with that? >> if you read it carefully it's reasonable to conclude this is a mere pretext. in other words they don't have a good reason to say this isn't a proper legislative purpose. it's reasonable to say that based upon how the democrats are operating. that's not how courts look at it.
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they do not -- they do not look and try to decipher whether there's a legitimate purpose. that tax returns shall be furnished to the house. there's no hedging in that language. so it's very interesting to see how a court reaktcts to the vie by the llc. >> trump promised more transparency about his taxes for years. listen to this. >> when the audit is completed, i'll release my returns. depends on the audit. not a big deal. i will release my tax returns against my lawyer's wishes, when she releases her 33,000 emails that have been deleted. >> i have been under audit for many years because the numbers are big and i guess when you have a name, you're audited. >> okay.
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so first being under audit is not a reason to not release your tax returns. secondly the former lawyer said -- trump former lawyer said he never saw evidence of an audit and doubts it's even true. we know he appears to have lost more money than any other american taxpayer, any individual american taxpayer. >> he obviously has very big secrets. nobody fights this hard against the truth if he doesn't have something to hide. so the question all americans should be asking is what is the president hiding? what's in the tax returns he doesn't want us to know? and i'm surer there are many things he considers shameful. he defines himself by wealth. it's his wealth that matters. and so this is the same stuff, different day.
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he's fighting the truth, fighting to control the narrative. also if we get this data, it's raw data that he created. so he's already sworn to it. so now we have something he can't shave, can't spin. it's a fact and we'll know a lot more than we know now. >> the doj seems to be acting on the president's interest. what does it say about the augancy's level off polarization? >> i'm disappointed in him for writing this. what the opinion shows is in fact he first wrote a letter to the treasury secretary when the secretary was deciding whether to release the returns and now he's followed it up with this. and really it's the sort of thing -- to a lawyer, you're reading it, it's barely something you can put together
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and write as an excuse. because you have a statute that says they shall furnish the returns and he's trying to get around the word shall by saying well, it says they shall furnish them and it should be a purpose and reasonable to conclude that it isn't in this way. frankly t goes to show it's pausesable to write a legal opinion that says almost anything. and it's not going to hold up in court. >> so this happened today too. and i've got to get your take on this, michael. the president was asked if vp pence would have his automatic endorsement. >> well, it's far to -- i love mike. we're running again but you're talking about a long time. so you can't put me in that position. but i would give it very strong consid raugz. he's a very, very outstanding -- >> i said 2014, which is behind
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us, but i meant 2024. strong consideration? could have handled that a little bit better, no? >> this shows us where loyalty lies with donald trump. mike's going to be loyal to him. he's not going to be loyal to mike pence. a lot of thick things can happen between now and 2024. mike pence could wind up doing something that trump disagrees with. he holds everything over everyone. he's not going to give you anything until he has to. and he's demonstrating it's my republican party. i own everything. just as with his administration with the justice department. he enos everybody in the justice department now. everyone is demonstrating that they have fallen in line with the president. and so their professional judgment goes out the window. they write the brief he would write if he were doing it himself and in the case of mike
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this pride month, during the 1950s, people suspected of being gay or lesbian were forced out of jobs because of the assumption they could turn into communist spies. heerbz rr a look at the documentary, "the lavender scare." >> we have your frebd in the next room. she's already told us you're
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gau. you give us the names of others and we'll go easy on you. >> must not be handling top secret material. >> started the systematic campaign to identify and remove all suspected gay men and lesbians. >> i was called to the fbi office. they wouldn't allow legal representation. i was a scared kid. >> they said we have information you're home sexual. do you have any comment? >> i lost my job at the patent office. >> that was the end of it. >> joining me is david k. johnson. author of the cold war, purse cushion of gays. and the mocker of the documentary. thank you for joining us. we look over the last few years. ia see sort of this evolution in
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same-sex marriage moving so quickly. being changed at least over the last decade as well. in the 1950s, it wasn't that long ago. even that clip gives an idea how scary it was. explain how frightening it was to be gay in america back then >> it was terrifying because the government was essentially sanctioning homophobia. home sexual acts were illegal in most of the country and the government was branding them as disloyal and a threat to security and the government was out to get them. >> the president that time, which was eisenhower, signand executive order to purge gay men and women from the government. his justification was they were national security risks and could somehow be blackmailed or corrupted? what was that based on? >> based on a myth that gay
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people were a threat to national security. it was a cold war. people were afraid of communists, home sexuals. and they thought boekt groups were somehow a result of psychological weakness or maladjustment. >> we hear a lot about mcargtyism. is there any equation between the two? gays can be blackmailed, therefore they must be purged. >> well, absolutely. the issue was that there were not that many communists in the state department and throughout the government. but when the government did want to demonstrate they had an effective security system, home sexuals were a much easier target and to a large degree that's what started the issue. >> if someone were accused of being gay, do they have any recourse? okay. you're gay and you're bad.
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>> most of the people who were threaten would being fired, just resigned. just handed in their resignations. they were not allowed to have legal rptdation, foss their accusers. they just went kwutly. >> and people were asked, informants, right? if you know of someone -- if your name is given to authorities, what do they do with that information, do you know? >> well, they follow it up with the simplest of rumors. they would say this co worker has odd-shaped lips. this man has a funny walk and the security officers would investigate. they would go and interview neighbors and former employers. >> i want to play another clip from the lavender scare. >> i was the first person to
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fight back out of all the large huge number of people that were fired in the '50s. >> and in 1965 you led a protest outside the white house, which was an act of conscience and an act of extraordinary courage. we are proud of you and greatful to you for your loyalty. >> the president honored him there. tell me about his role, not to be underestimated in this. he was a real hero. er >> he was one of the victims of the lavender scare. he was fired in 1967. he was an asfraunmer, with a ph.d. from harvard. the darling of the space race when america needed people like him but he was gay, so they fired him. he was one of the first to stand up and fight. he said this is not a matter of national security, morality, this is a matter of civil rights.
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>> when you look at what's going on in the time that we're in now, are you kungcerned? i don't think you would go back to those days. i think we're beyond that. but do you feel there's been a regression over the past couple of years? >> absolutely. and even the lavender scare itself had a period of backlash and i think that's what year seeing again. a backlash after openness and viz lkt for gays and lesbians. >> absolutely and i think that's an important message to the film. periods of progress are frequently fall eoed by periods of regression. as you say we have made so much progress and the message of the film is it's important to protect that. >> i think at least i know a lot about gay history, lgbt rights,
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lgbtq rights, stonewall and on and on, but so many of our young people don't. do you have some advice for them? i'm not saying anything negative about them. i don't mean to put them in a harsh light. >> i thought i knew about american history and gay history. but until i read david's book, i didn't realize how systematically the u.s. government went about discriminating against gay people and i think it's important for young people to know what our history is, particularly as we go forward in what could be very chal mpging times. >> give us some advice. >> gays and lesbians have been erased from the history backs. so we're trying to put us back into the history books. >> it's fascinating. thank you. really appreciate it. and happy pride.
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thank you so much. we'll be right back. the entire day, pretty much. my ear buds are always in. you're mostly watching things on your phone. yeah. i don't always have time to track what my kids are doing in their phone. verizon lets me manage and control things, so they feel like they have their freedom and i feel like i have my piece of mind. (vo) the network more people rely on, gives you more. like plans families can mix and match, including the new just kids plan. plus, a free samsung galaxy when you switch. that's verizon. yesss, i'm doing it all. the water. the exercise. the fiber. month after month, and i still have belly pain and recurring constipation. so i asked my doctor what else i could do, and i said yesss to linzess. linzess treats adults with ibs with constipation or chronic constipation. linzess is not a laxative, it works differently. it helps relieve belly pain and lets you have more frequent and complete bowel movements. do not give linzess to children less than 6, and it should not be given to children 6 to less than 18,
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it may harm them. do not take linzess if you have a bowel blockage. get immediate help if you develop unusual or severe stomach pain, especially with bloody or black stools. the most common side effect is diarrhea, sometimes severe. if it's severe, stop taking linzess and call your doctor right away. other side effects include gas, stomach area pain, and swelling. i'm still doing it all. the water. the exercise. the fiber. and i said yesss to linzess for help with belly pain and recurring constipation. ask your doctor. when it comes to type 2 diabetes, are you thinking about your heart? well, i'm managing my a1c, so i should be all set. actually, you're still at risk for a fatal heart attack or stroke. that's where jardiance comes in. it reduces the risk of dying from a cardiovascular event for adults who have type 2 diabetes and known heart diseas. that's why the american diabetes association recommends the active ingredient in jardiance. and it lowers a1c? with diet and exercise. jardiance can cause serious side effects including dehydration, genital yeast or urinary tract infections,
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and sudden kidney problems. ketoacidosis is a serious side effect that may be fatal. a rare, but life-threatening, bacterial infection in the skin of the perineum could occur. stop taking jardiance and call your doctor right away if you have symptoms of this bacterial infection, ketoacidosis, or an allergic reaction. do not take jardiance if you are on dialysis or have severe kidney problems. taking jardiance with a sulfonylurea or insulin may cause low blood sugar. so, what do you think? now i feel i can do more to go beyond lowering a1c. ask your doctor about jardiance today.
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now i feel i can do more to go beyond lowering a1c. i've always been amazed and still going for my best, even though i live with a higher risk of stroke due to afib not caused by a heart valve problem. so if there's a better treatment than warfarin... i want that too. eliquis. eliquis is proven to reduce stroke risk better than warfarin. plus has significantly less major bleeding than warfarin. eliquis is fda-approved and has both. what's next? reeling in a nice one. don't stop taking eliquis unless your doctor tells you to, as stopping increases your risk of having a stroke. eliquis can cause serious and in rare cases fatal bleeding. don't take eliquis if you have an artificial heart valve or abnormal bleeding. while taking eliquis, you may bruise more easily and it may take longer than usual for any bleeding to stop. seek immediate medical care for sudden sign of bleeding, like unusual bruising. eliquis may increase your bleeding risk if you take certain medicines. tell your doctor about all planned medical or dental procedures. eliquis, the number one cardiologist-prescribed blood thinner. ask your doctor if eliquis is what's next for you.
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. he hails from scotland but he feeds hungry school children
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through his nonprofit mary's meals. he was honored in 2010 at an event with actor gerard butler. they represent haiti. >> greatest privilege of doing this work is meeting those children who are eating these meals. the numbers become just mind boggling after a while but the real beauty of it is watching those children become the people they're meant to be. >> i remember we went just before lunch. they were tired and then they had lunch and oh, my god, it was like different people. and then you realize the simple value of this program. >> to find out more about the life changing work and his friendship with gerard butler, go to cnn heroes.com. while you're there nominate someone you know to be a cnn hero. thanks for watching, our coverage continues. uh-oh, looks like someone's
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so you can stream, surf and game all you want, with confidence you can get coverage where you need it most. that's xfi advantage. make your xfi even better. upgrade today. call, click or visit a store. breaking news tonight his advisers privately admit he's handling questions on this poorly. even as they do the president of the united states might just be proving their point. he's just thanked a top lawmaker for making it easier than it would otherwise be for him to break the law if he wants. easier to do what he said just two days ago he's open to doing, colluding with foreign governments to win reelection and never mind the fbi. john berman here in for anderson. these two

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